The U.S. Congress missed its August 1, 2014, deadline for dealing with the thousands of child refugees at the U.S.-Mexican border. On Thursday, July 31, it became apparent that debate on immigration had stalled, leaving the asylum seekers with no resolution.
In July 2014, President Obama had asked Congress for $3.7 billion in supplemental funding to deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border. Yet the Republican-controlled House of Representatives could not reach an agreement on the passage of a $659 million funding proposal backed by the House leadership. For your next research paper, look to some ideas including illegal immigration, immigration reform or immigration policy for help.
Immigration reform for asylum seekers
Refugee stories of people seeking a better life are nothing new at the U.S.-Mexican border. But this situation is different because it involves tens of thousands of children under the age of 17. According to Haeyoun Park of NewYorkTimes.com, more than 57,000 children have been caught crossing the border since October 2013.
In a July 28, 2014, article titled, “Children at the Border,” Park provided background about the sudden surge of children seeking asylum in the U.S.
Reasons for seeking asylum vary but typically center on gang violence, poverty and a desire for reunification with family members who live within the United States. Because of anti-trafficking laws, the children are not immediately deported back to their home country. Instead, minors must be given a court hearing before they can be deported.
“The Department of Homeland Security has acknowledged that because so many minors caught in the past few years were reunited with their families here and not immediately deported, many Central Americans were left with the perception that the United States was allowing children to stay,” Park said.
Most of the asylum seekers are boys between the ages of 15 and 17. However, the proportion of girls and younger children has been increasing within the last year.
Each of the refugees at the U.S.-Mexican border has a unique story and one that often involves harrowing danger and unimaginable deprivation.
One such story was told by Ian Gordon in his July-August 2014 article for MotherJones.com, “70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?”
Gordon told the story of 17-year-old Adrian who braved a journey of 1,700 miles in his desire for safety and freedom in the U.S. The fact that Adrian is gay compounded risks that included desert heat, drug gangs and the infamous La Bestia freight train where murders of refugees are commonplace.
After reaching the border, Adrian was caught by the border patrol, making him one of the 38,833 unaccompanied minors apprehended in 2013.
According to Gordon, “Although some have traveled from as far away as Sri Lanka and Tanzania, the bulk are minors from Mexico and from Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which together account for 74 percent of the surge.”
On April 10, 2014, the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crimes reported that Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world.
In an April 11, 2014, article for CNN.com, “Which countries have the world’s highest murder rates? Honduras tops the list,” a writer reported murder tallies from around the world.
“In the Americas, homicide rates have been five to eight times higher than those of Europe and Asia since the mid-1950s. . .” the article said.
Learn more about Central America
If you want to learn more about the history and political development of Central America, be sure to check out the thousands of resources at Questia.com. You’ll find full-text books, articles and encyclopedias that will serve as excellent sources for your term papers and research projects.
One example of such a resource is the book Understanding Central America by John A. Booth and Thomas W. Walker. In this widely praised book, the authors explore the origins and development of the region’s political conflicts and efforts to resolve them.
You’ll learn about the countries that comprise this region: Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
The authors also provide valuable insight on the nature of the Central American people. “Central America’s main resource is clearly its people. Contrary to the ethnocentric stereotype often held by North Americans, Central Americans are as hardworking as most other humans on this planet,” the authors said.
While you’re visiting Questia, be sure to check out the research tutorials and tools that you can use to complete your research, write your term papers and cite your sources.
You can read more about immigration reform at Questia.
What do you think the president should do about the current border crisis? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.